Motors have been revving at Hockinson Heights Elementary School as 29 students spent the winter preparing to compete in Clark County Public Utilities' Solar Car Challenge. For the past two months, HHES teachers Hollie Rose and Michelle Perry coached twenty-nine students as they designed, built, and fine tuned their hybrid solar-and battery-powered cars. On March 11, ten teams of fourth and fifth grade students finally put their inventions to the test at Hudson's Bay High School.
Several HHES teams finished near the top of the leaderboard. In many cases, their team names rivaled the creativity of their vehicles. The Shock Runners and Solar Speed teams took home second and third place, respectively, in both car races and the overall champion categories while the Speedy Turtles scored second in the design and interview category. Way to go, students!
According to Rose, the competition challenges students on both technical and teamwork levels. “The Solar Car Challenge gives our students the opportunity to engage in the engineering and design process with purpose and intention,” said Rose. Students also learn to work as a team and how to overcome setbacks. "Working together to pivot when things don't go to plan is a big part of the learning experience," added Rose.
The Solar Car Challenge is an academic tournament that judges students’ design and engineering process, contestants’ understanding of renewable energy principles, and a day-long race of their handbuilt solar cars.
This year’s Solar Car Challenge was the first time the competition has been hosted in three years. At the 2019 competition, 176 teams from all across Clark County participated at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. View KGW 8’s coverage of the 2019 competition here.
Congratulations to the following students for their exemplary performance at the Solar Car Competition!
Shock Runners: Nelson Hendrickson, Kellan Mullen, and Will Talbert
Speedy Turtles: Hudson Henry, Charlie Jackson, Isaac Lang
Solar Speed: Kevin Brown, Evelyn Buller, and Naya Dastgheib